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Romance fraud has grown in tandem with an increase in the number of people using online dating sites

Methodology in Reporting About Brian Wedgeworth

This reporting is based on a five-month investigation into Wedgeworth and the case against him, which included a review of his federal court records as well as more than 400 pages of police reports and court documents from states outside of Florida where he has been accused – and in some cases convicted – of similar conduct.

It also includes excerpts from Johnson’s social media posts and podcast interviews, as well as interviews with Wedgeworth’s sister, Juanicca Wedgeworth, and Johnson’s oldest daughter, Tiffany Maximin. Johnson died a month before Wedgeworth’s indictment, but she spoke about her encounter with Wedgeworth to a Jacksonville television news station in 2017. With more users, there are more potential victims.

Wedgeworth has been dubbed the “Casamer” after allegations that he has made a career out of preying on women looking for love. According to the indictment, he pretended to be a wealthy doctor and surgeon. He has previously pleaded guilty to similar charges in Georgia and Alabama, including dozens of counts of fraud and forgery. According to court records, he was wanted by law enforcement in Ohio and Alabama when he was arrested in Tennessee last year.

Wedgeworth declined to comment on the case against him through his lawyer, Joseph DeBelder. Wedgeworth’s public defender, DeBelder, said, “Wedgeworth will not be speaking to any media under the advice of his counsel.” In addition to the federal case, at least seven women in five counties, mostly in the Southeast, have filed fraud complaints against Wedgeworth. Read more…